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The present invention also related to the use of such defined combinations and methods for using them in the control of plant growth and/or yield and/or in the control or prevention of pathogenic or pest damage and/or in order to decreasing the spending on fertilizers.It is known that the process of nitrogen fixing by legumes is based on symbiosis between these plants and soil bacteria, the Rhizobia.This C-D configuration is also advantageous for the effect of strigolactones on AM fungi, when modifications in the A and B rings do not appear to affect their ability to induce hyphal branching in AM fungi (Akiyama K. They can therefore overcome a major drawback of the availability of natural compounds and are more suitable for a large scale application.Described herein is the inventors' surprising discovery that compound combinations comprising a chito-oligosaccharide compound and a strigolactone compound show significant improvement over the individual treatments alone with respect to plant growth, and/or yield of leguminous and non-leguminous plants or crops, and/or decrease of the need for fertilizers.
More than 80% of lands plants are forming symbiotic associations with AM fungi.
Natural strigolactones generally possess a chemical structure comprising 4 rings A, B, C, D and share the common configuration indicated below, in which rings A and B can comprises double bond(s) or substituents: Additionally to these natural occurring compounds, a number of structural analogues have been designated, synthesized and biologically tested on the seed germination or as inducer of hyphal branching.
The connection of the C and D cycles to each other via an enol ether bond seems advantageous for germination stimulation. These synthetic compounds, which may be identical to natural strigolactones or derivatives from them, are usually easier to be prepared in large amount than natural compounds extracted from root exsudates.
A preferred composition according to the invention comprises a compound of formula (I) wherein X-haloalkyl. It is not necessary to match LCO's and plant species to stimulate plant growth and/or crop yield when treating seeds or foliage of a legume or non-legume with LCO's. Commercial products containing LCO's are available, such as OPTIMIZE® (EMD Crop Bio Science).
Another preferred composition according to the invention comprises a compound of formula (I) wherein R1 and R2 independently represent a hydrogen atom, a halogen atom, a nitro group, a hydroxy group, a cyano group, a substituted or non-substituted C-haloalkoxy; or R1 and R2 form a saturated or unsaturated, aromatic or non-aromatic, substituted or non-substituted 4- to 7-membered carbocycle; or R1 and R2 form a saturated or unsaturated, aromatic or non-aromatic, substituted or non-substituted 4- to 7-membered carbocycle fused to an other saturated or unsaturated, aromatic or non-aromatic, substituted or non-substituted 4- to 7-membered carbocycle. LCO's may be utilized in various forms of purity and may be used alone or with rhizobia. LCO compounds, which can be identical or not to naturally occurring LCO's, may also be obtained by chemical synthesis and/or through genetic engineering.
This synergistic effect allows a reduction of the chemical substances spread into the environment and a reduction of the cost of the treatment. For the purpose of the invention, said naturally occurring LCO's may be isolated from the natural organism, or can be a partial or totally synthetic version of said naturally occurring LCO.